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Kern De Freitas
August 5, 2006
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has accepted the invitation from the Indian board (BCCI) to participate in the tri-nation series in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in September and selected a squad of 14 players. However, the WICB bypassed the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and issued match/tour contracts directly to selected players.
According to a WICB release yesterday, the decision was taken to directly invite players to the tour, after talks on Wednesday between board representative Deryck Murray and Dinanath Ramnarine, the WIPA president, and subsequent discussions between Ramnarine and Ken Gordon, the WICB president, "broke down in spite of our best efforts."
The release continued: "It has now become imperative that we act if we are to participate in this series because of the tight timelines between now and the September tournament".
The release also disclosed that offers to the players for the series ranged from a minimum of US$25,000 to a maximum of US $59,000 per player, with the "prospect of each player earning an additional 50 per cent on these fees if West Indies qualifies for the final".
The WICB also stated that these fees were "unprecedented" at 488% of the normal match fees, and "25 % of the net revenue to be paid to the WICB for the series." They said this was only made possible due to the "one-off nature of the series" and the board's commitment to "enhance earnings of players whenever practicable".
The WICB also claimed the WIPA's demands - ranging from US$40,000 to $US95,000 per player represented 40 per cent of the net revenue the WICB were due to receive, and almost double the premium on normal match fees. They said this was considered "unacceptable". The disagreements over match fees and contractual conditions stem back to November 2004.
The selected players have also been given until August 10 to accept the invitation, after which the WICB said that another team will be chosen to replace West Indies in the series, which also features India and Australia.
A noteworthy inclusion in the squad is Carlton Baugh, the wicketkeeper, who replaces Denesh Ramdin, despite an impressive performance in the recent Jamaica Test against India. Brian Lara, who apologised to Gordon for his comments on team selection, will continue to lead the squad. Fast bowler Fidel Edwards returns to the squad after missing the last three Tests against India due to a hamstring injury.
Squad Brian Lara (capt), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Runako Morton, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Carlton Baugh (wk), Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Ian Bradshaw, Jerome Taylor, Marlon Samuels, Wavell Hinds.
© Trinidad & Tobago Express